Jeweller calls time on 150-year-old business

By Tim Aldred

31 May 2023

Leonard Dews storefront

Leonard Dews, a popular retailer which has been selling jewellery and watches in Blackpool since 1877, will soon close for good.

The business was acquired by entrepreneur David Hyman in 1959 and is currently under the stewardship of his son Michael, who joined in 1968.

While David favoured diamonds, Michael always had a keen eye for watches and even studied them in Switzerland.

He was instrumental in moving the brand more upmarket, securing distribution deals with iconic manufacturers such as Rolex, Patek Philippe, TAG Heuer, Omega, Bremont and Chopard.

At its height, the Hyman family empire included 11 shops across the North West, though the recession of the 1980s pared this back.

The company's colourful history includes a fight for control after David's death in 1977, an armed robbery in 1990 which the company featured in a future marketing campaign and almost three decades spent as part of the Houlden Group, a partnership which ended in 2017.

Now just one Leonard Dews shop remains, on Church Street in Blackpool, which will close in June.

Michael, who retires after more than 50 years in the business, said: "My team and I have worked hard to take Leonard Dews to where it is today. We have shared our dedication and passion with our customers, who have supported us over many years. And now I have made the emotional decision to hang up my loupe and call time on this much-loved business.

"My first concern was for my staff and I have been supporting them as much as possible to find new positions."

Enjoyed this? Read more from Tim Aldred

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